Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Mainstreet Poses A Question for Joe Lieberman

One of our readers sent us the following article:

To get an accurate fix on just how unacceptable Joe Lieberman's response was to McCain's ad attacking Obama, let us conduct a thought experiment. Suppose all of the following were true:

Joe Lieberman had captured the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination and was just now commencing his summer campaign. His opponent was Mike Huckabee. Al Gore, Lieberman's running mate in 2000, had since then become cozy with Huckabee.

In beginning his campaign, Lieberman was sensitive to the fact that he was the first Jewish major party presidential candidate and also sensitive to the fact that there is still an undercurrent of anti-Semitism in some part of the American population. Trying to anticipate and protect himself against possible attacks against him based upon the fact that he is Jewish, Lieberman pointed out to several audiences that he was indeed the first Jew who had ever been a serious contender for president and that there might be some attempts made by his opponent to play on lingering anti-Semitic stereotypes.

Knowing that he was behind Lieberman in the polls, Huckabee immediately seized on Lieberman's statement and put up a television ad attacking Lieberman. In a way similar to the way in which the McCain ad played on a false stereotype by using two sexually available young white women in his ad attacking Obama, Huckabee's ad made veiled but creative use of various photographs to play on a false anti-Semitic stereotype– by suggesting that Jews are avaricious, for example. As part of his attack, Huckabee also launched a preemptive strike against any claim that his ad was anti-Semitic by having a spokesman insist that it was Lieberman who had played “the religion card” and that he had dealt it from the bottom of the deck.

As Lieberman was attempting to respond to this attack, Gore went on television to tell everybody to relax and enjoy Huckabee's ad.

If all of this had been done to Lieberman, would he believe that Huckabee and Gore had acted properly?


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